Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) may have more than his own embarrassment to deal with in the wake of the prank call from from a progressive blogger claiming to be David Koch.
The police chief in Madison, Wisc. — site of the protests at the state Capitol — tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel the he found parts of the recorded call between Walker and “Koch” “very unsettling and troubling.”
Specifically, Chief Noble Wray says that Walker’s claim that he considered sending infiltrators into the crowd (prompted by a suggestion by “Koch,” played by blogger Ian Murphy) made him nervous.“I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members,” Wray said. “I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers.”
Here’s what Walker told Murphy posing as Koch:
MURPHY: What we were thinking about the crowds, was planting some trouble makers?
WALKER: Well, the only problem, because we thought about that, my only gut reaction to that would be, right now, the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of this. The teachers union did some polling and focus groups, I think, and found out that the public turned on them the minute they closed school down for a couple days. The guys we have left are largely from out of state, and I keep dismissing it in my press comment saying, ‘eh, they’re mostly from out of state.'”
I’m saying hey, ‘we can handle this, people can protest, this is Madison, you know, full of the 60s liberals.’ Let them protest. It’s not going to affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes, and the majority of people are telling us we’re doing the right thing, let them protest all they want.
Walker has dismissed the calls, saying “I take phone calls all the time,” and claiming that he didn’t say anything different to the man he thought was a conservative super donor than he has in public.
The cops in Madison have for the most part been highly supportive of the protesters. In statement released to the Journal-Sentinel along with Wray’s comments, the department again praised the thousands gathered in and around the capitol building for their decorum.
“Crowd behavior has been exemplary, and thousands of Wisconsin citizens are to be commended for the peaceful ways in which they have expressed First Amendment rights,” the department told the paper.